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Here, you can find out how to reclaim a vehicle that has been seized under Section 165A of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This means an officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the driver was uninsured or was not driving in accordance with their driving licence.
If your vehicle has been seized for this reason the driver should have received a 'notice to driver' form.
If your vehicle has been impounded for another reason, go to our impounded vehicles page.
If your vehicle was seized on behalf of City of London Police by the Metropolitan Police Service please visit the Metropolitan Police website.
You are legally required to go to the pound within seven working days of the date on the seizure notice or notice letter to reclaim your vehicle.
To reclaim your vehicle you must go to the correct pound and bring the correct documents (which are listed below).
We won't accept a student or employer’s ID.
Your driving licence must be either:
If you've already given your licence to us we'll need evidence of this together with another type of verifiable photo ID (one from the list above).
If you've been disqualified in an EU member state or EEA country that disqualification applies in the UK too.
You'll need to produce a valid certificate of motor insurance that permits the release of a vehicle impounded by a government authority before your vehicle will be released, even if you don’t intend to drive it on a public road.
Please make sure you've declared all the relevant facts to your insurer, including:
If you took out the policy after the vehicle was seized then you must also declare relevant pending convictions.
It's a serious criminal offence to fail to declare the correct material facts or to give false information when getting insurance. This can render your insurance invalid.
We may share information with your insurer or the Motor Insurers' Bureau if we suspect an offence.
Short-term insurance or temporary cover (for a period of up to 30 days) may not be valid to reclaim a seized vehicle. Please check the wording on the certificate or cover note. If in doubt, contact your insurer before you come to the pound.
If we're not satisfied that your insurance is valid for the release of an impounded vehicle, we may ask you to provide written confirmation from your insurer.
A motor trader can't release a seized vehicle on your behalf. A motor trade policy will only permit the release of a vehicle that was:
If a vehicle ‘in trade’ has been driven on the road without a valid trade licence displayed it must be registered to the owner immediately. The pound staff will send the relevant documents to DVLA on your behalf.
If your vehicle is over three years old and doesn't have a current MOT test pass certificate, you must:
Seized vehicles can be collected from:
Bishopsgate Police Station
Opening times for collection of vehicles is 7.30am-2pm, Monday - Friday (not open Saturdays/Sundays and bank holidays). Persons wanting to collect their vehicles are asked to contact the Pound prior to attending on 0207 601 2157.
The current registered keeper is responsible for taxing a vehicle. The road tax is not transferred when the vehicle is sold to a new keeper.
If the vehicle's excise duty has expired, the vehicle may be seized again by DVLA if it's driven or parked on a public road.
As the registered keeper or owner of a seized vehicle you are legally responsible for it and you must attend the pound in person to prove ownership and pay the charges.
This legal requirement will only be waived if you can provide evidence that:
If any of the above circumstances apply to you, the third party collecting the vehicle on your behalf must attend the pound with:
If you can attend the pound in person to establish your ownership but you can't drive the vehicle yourself, you may nominate someone to collect it on your behalf.
The third party must pay the charges and have:
If your vehicle is being collected by another person on your behalf, that person must hold a valid driving licence and a valid certificate of motor insurance that allows them to reclaim the seized vehicle from a police pound.
The nominated driver should normally be named as an additional driver on the registered keeper's own motor insurance policy. Please contact your insurer before coming to the pound if you're in any doubt. If there’s any doubt about the validity of the insurance, the pound staff may ask you to get confirmation from your insurer that the relevant material facts have been declared.
If you’ve insured the vehicle yourself but you don’t hold a valid driving licence or you’re not fit to drive, your insurance policy may not be valid.
If the nominated driver insures the vehicle but they haven’t informed the insurer that they’re not the owner or registered keeper, their insurance policy may not be valid.
The legal requirement for the impounded vehicle to have valid motor insurance before it leaves the pound applies in all cases, even if a recovery operator is collecting the vehicle from the pound on your behalf.
Sometimes we seize a moped because it’s been derestricted or modified to make it too powerful for the holder of a moped licence.
We’ll return the moped to the rider’s parent or guardian, provided the moped rider is aged16 or under.
The parent or guardian must sign an undertaking that the vehicle won’t be used on the road again, or be sold to a holder of a moped licence, until it’s been returned to a state where it complies with the legal status of a moped.
A letter explaining this procedure should be provided by the seizing officer. The moped won’t be returned to the rider alone.
You can find full details about the statutory charges in the Road Traffic Act (Retention and disposal of seized vehicles) Regulations 2005 – amended 2008.
These charges are set by government, not the police, and vary depending on the weight and condition of the vehicle.
Please note, the daily storage charges start from midday the day after the vehicle was seized.
We only accept debit cards.
We can’t accept payment over the phone; the cardholder must come to the pound.
We'll only give property from the vehicle to the owner or registered keeper of the vehicle, or to the driver at the time of seizure.
We require proof of ID in all cases.
If the registered keeper or owner is collecting property, we'll require proof of ownership or a V5C. The driver’s details can normally be confirmed from the seizure notice.
If the registered keeper or owner can't come to the pound in person to collect the property, we'll need a letter of authority and proof of signature (see above).
If you don’t want to reclaim your vehicle you don’t need to take any action. We'll dispose of it after 14 days.
If you need written confirmation that you're no longer responsible for the vehicle, go to the pound with proof of identity and ownership and sign a disclaimer form. You’ll receive a copy.
There are no charges to pay if the vehicle is left at the pound for disposal.
If your vehicle has been issued with a PG9 prohibition notice, isn’t roadworthy or won’t start, you need to arrange for a fully trained, equipped and insured vehicle recovery operator to collect it at your own expense.
We don’t allow vehicles to be repaired while they’re at the pound (this includes changing tyres or repairing windscreens).
Bring a set of keys, in case the driver didn't leave the keys in the vehicle.
If the vehicle was in a collision and you’re not sure it’s roadworthy, consider having it recovered by a professional recovery operator.
We highly recommend taking your vehicle to a garage for a safety check if you’re getting it back after it’s been stolen.
The police, including all pound staff, can't advise on whether your vehicle is roadworthy.
If your vehicle doesn’t have correct number plates and you’re planning on driving it, you must attach valid replacement plates when you collect it.
If you’re driving under a provisional licence you must bring someone who:
Make sure you have L plates on the vehicle.